ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan – The only son of Turkmenistan's longtime president has become a senior lawmaker.
The government daily Neutral Turkmenistan reported Tuesday that Serdar Berdymukhamedov has become the chairman of the parliament's legal affairs committee. He previously had served as head of the Foreign Ministry's information department.
His father, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, has ruled the gas-rich ex-Soviet Central Asian nation since late 2006 following the death of his autocratic predecessor.
The president, who also has three daughters, has established an elaborate personality cult, with state media showing his prowess in an array of physical disciplines, including horse riding, racing cars, cycling and lifting weights. The constitution was amended to extend the presidential term to seven years from five and eliminate the age limit of 70, effectively allowing Berdymukhamedov, 59, to be president for life.